Ebook/Book App Review - The Strange and Wonderful World of Ants

Title: The Strange and Wonderful World of Ants
App Developer: Amos Latteier, Illustrated by Melinda Matson
Version: 2.0 - April 3, 2011
Price: $1.99
Age Level: Ages 6 to 10
Available on iTunes
Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 4.2 or later.
Language: English
Features Read to Me (Beginner Level) * Three Reading Levels (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)*Optional drag white dot to navigate*Swipe the page turn feature*Extras (Glossary, Questions, Ant Resources)
Settings: Music - Volume Control; Narrator - On/Off Button - Beginning Level Only
Category: Non-fiction, Educational
Website: antsapp.com

Additional Review that may be of interesthttp://digital-storytime.com/review.php?id=70

Description from iTunes:
Explore the amazing world of the ants! The Strange & Wonderful World of Ants is a beautifully designed, educational, and quirky children's iPad App. Its adjustable reading level making it appealing to a wide range of children and adults.

Thoughts on this book app:
This app is brilliant!  I have looked at dozens of apps and though I am not an app designer, I can often think of several suggestions or ideas for how to improve the app.  In the case of The Strange and Wonderful World of Ants by Amos Latteier, I truly don't have any suggestions.  The only request is can we have more non-fiction ebook apps like this one?

This app has three levels - beginner, intermediate, and advanced which allows a parent to share the book with a young child, or a beginning reader to navigate the book independently, or even an adult to enjoy the advanced level information.  From the beginning of the book, there is a very realistic appropriately sized ant named E.O. who helps provide additional information. 

Here is an example of the language used by E.O. at the various levels:

Beginner Level: "Hello, I am E.O. the ant.  I am here to tell you about ants. Ants are everywhere.  Take a look.  Where you can find us?"

Intermediate Level: "Hello, I am E.O. the ant.  I will try to help you understand us ants better. Where can you find ants? Take a look.  You can find us almost everywhere, in the grass, on trees, and between the cracks in the sidewalk."

Advanced Level: "Hello, I'm E.O. the ant.  My nest suggested that I be the ant ambassador to you humans in the hope that you'll understand us better.  Where can you find ants? There are probably some ants in your house right now.  Take a look.  You can find us almost everywhere, in the grass, on trees, and between the cracks in the sidewalk."

iPad Screen shot
The illustrations that accompany the text are large and very detailed.  E.O., the ant ambassador, moves like a real ant, one that seems to have gotten under your iPad screen and is trying to find a way out.  The music that accompanies the text is pleasant.  The swipe feature for turning the pages works well.  You are able to scroll through the pages with a dotted line along the bottom of the book page.  The resources at the end of the book allow the app to be used for discussion or to assist a child with research.   Truly a beautifully created and well-thought out book app.

If you are looking for educational apps to share with your own children or in a classroom setting, I would certainly recommend this app.  Additionally, the price is very right at $1.99.  If you only download one ebook app this month, you may want to consider this one.